Dutch Sephardic Jewish colonists moved from Brazil to Barbados to escape the religious persecution of the Spanish Inquisition. These Sephardic Jews brought with them the knowledge to produce a highly sought after commodity in Europe: Sugarcane. The production of sugarcane became wildly successful in Barbados, and transformed the economic and cultural landscape forever. As business grew in Barbados, so did the demand for enslaved field workers. Poor white indentured servants, and African slaves primarily worked these plantations, but gradually shifted to African slaves, since the white indentured servants died from yellow fever and the heat. Sugarcane was a profitable crop, but took grueling, arduous work to cultivate it.
Beyond Barbados: Sweet Success, Part 2
David Sanford Adams
June 11, 2019